Apple Patent Suggests Two iPads Could Be Connected Together for Notebook-Style Computing

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,084
10,443


Apple is exploring use of an accessory that would allow two iPads to connect together for notebook-style computing, according to a new patent filing uncovered by AppleInsider.



The patent application titled "Modular multiple display electronic devices," filed today with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, explains that when two iPads or iPhones are connected together via an accessory, one could be used as the display, and the other as a dynamic keyboard.

The envisioned coupling accessory consists of two small connectors and a hinge, with mobile devices attaching mechanically to either side. The connector would facilitate data transfers between the devices so that they could work in unison as one system.



Images included in the patent application mainly suggest that this accessory would allow for a notebook-style setup, with one device flat on a surface, with the hinged connector accessory at the back, propping up a second mobile device, in either portrait or landscape orientations.

Use of a second display for a dynamic keyboard would offer several unique solutions, such as allowing functionality to change based on a users' needs, much like the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. Depth and tactile feedback, the likes of which is only achieved by a physical keyboard, would likely be absent, however.

In addition to the notebook-style set up, the patent suggests that if two devices were attached along their longest edges, they could also be used in a book-style setup. This seems to be similar to the layout of the Microsoft Surface Duo.



Second-screen devices have been the subject of numerous Apple patents, such as the application "System with multiple electronic devices," which describes how two or more devices could act as one when brought close to each other through the use of proximity sensors. While Apple files numerous patent applications on a regular basis and many never materialize practically, they can often offer an intriguing insight into Apple's current areas of research and development.

Article Link: Apple Patent Suggests Two iPads Could Be Connected Together for Notebook-Style Computing
 
Last edited:

phenste

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2012
88
401
With the image of two human profiles on each iPad, the *best* use I can see for this is FaceTime where each recipient gets a full screen.

Otherwise…this reeeeeeally seems like something Apple is patenting just so their R&D can go as far as possible with it, but probably end up trashing the idea. Apple files patents all the time. Plain and simple.
 

imnotthewalrus

macrumors 6502
Nov 20, 2015
281
486
earth
At first glance, the idea is interesting but my knee jerk reaction is how many applications would this be more useful than the magic keyboard and trackpad?
 

Polaroid

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2013
1,043
1,090
WTF. I can't justify an iPad Pro 11 512GB cellular with the keyboard case and pencil 2 at $2K after taxes and applecare+. How can I justify two iPads?
not sure about others but I have more than one iPad so I would only need the accessory likes others... Just use 1 iPad as normal if you cant afford or justify buying 2, you've survived long enough with 1 iPad :p
 

StuBeck

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2008
358
124
WTF. I can't justify an iPad Pro 11 512GB cellular with the keyboard case and pencil 2 at $2K after taxes and applecare+. How can I justify two iPads?
Buy used. I was able to get a 2nd gen 12.9" iPad Pro 256 GB for under $400 last year.

But this also is a silly idea from them with limited usefulness.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,323
15,399
WTF. I can't justify an iPad Pro 11 512GB cellular with the keyboard case and pencil 2 at $2K after taxes and applecare+. How can I justify two iPads?
Who....who is forcing you to buy a product that doesn’t exist?
 

Tarantularock

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2016
77
72
There is a lot packed in this patent. I hope to see some of what is described with communications and processor sharing /switching between the devices. I could use this type of functionality with say the next ARM iMac and my commuting work laptop / iPad Pro.
 

yurc

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2016
406
316
inside your DSDT
So this is probably Nintendo DS like MacBook. No physical keyboard, just glorified touchbar touchscreen with haptic feedback. Apple no longer ships country and region specific model which usually include with different layouts of keyboard.
 

Madhatter32

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
141
289
The touch bar is bad enough. A keyboard screen now? Good for the occassional typist I guess. It probably would not work for me unless it came with haptic feedback that would mimic a physical keyboard. Considering the added price of an additional screen, a physical keyboard would work for me just fine.
 
  • Love
Reactions: AlexGraphicD
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.